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Daniel S. Brogan

Jonah

by Daniel Brogan
 

God said to Jonah, “Go and preach!
Against Ninevah, go and preach
For its vile wickedness does reach
Up, before my presence.
 
But Jonah, he did not obey.
He decided to run away.
He went down to Joppa that day
And sailed away for Tarshish.
 
The sun was warm. The breeze was light.
They traveled through the day and night.
The next day brought them into sight
Of a foreboding sky.
 
The sky grew dark.  The waves grew high.
The lightning flew across the sky.
The gentle breeze was howling by.
The crew cried, “We are lost.”
 
Then each sent to his god a plea.
They threw the cargo to the sea,
But Jonah—Jonah—where was he?
Was sound asleep below.
 
“Awake!  Awake!” the captain said.
“Call on your god.  Get out of bed.
If no god hears, we'll all be dead!”
But Jonah could not pray.
 
The anxious crew cast lots to tell
Who was at fault, and the lot fell
On Jonah, who knew very well
That he had disobeyed.
 
Then they demanded, “Who are you?
Where are you from?  What do you do?
And tell us—tell us—tell us who
Has brought this storm on us.” 
 
Then he replied, “I'm a Hebrew.
I worship the Lord, who made you, 
The sun, the sea, and the land, too
From His throne in Heaven.”
 
Their faces paled.  Their eyes grew wide
For they were greatly terrified.
“What have you done!” they jointly cried
For they knew that he'd fled.

 
This is a narrative poem version of the story of Jonah and the Great Fish found in the book of Jonah in the Bible.  To gain more information on this story, read the book of Jonah.

 

 
 

The sea was growing rougher still.
The wind increased in force until
It was tossing the boat at will
Among the rolling waves.
 
The men yelled out their troubled plea,
“What must we do to quell the sea?”
And Jonah answered, “Throw in me!”
But they did not obey.
 
Instead they tried to row to shore,
But the storm heightened more and more.
So they prayed, “Lord, forgive us for
The taking of this life.”
 
As Jonah plunged into the sea
To suppos’d death in agony,
The waves grew calm.  The boat was free
From the raging storm.
 
The crew was awed and stood in fear
Of what they did just see and hear.
They made vows to God and did appear
To choose him as their God.
 
As Jonah sank into the deep,
A giant fish awoke from sleep,
Came toward Jonah, and with one sweep
Of its powerful jaws
 
Engulfed Jonah, and there he sat,
In its belly (a putrid vat),
For three whole days and nights at that 
And would have stayed there more;
 
Except, he turned his heart to God
And did forsake the way he'd trod:
For he did have a change of mood
And sought God's forgiveness.
 
Then God did move His mighty hand,
And the fish followed His command
And vomited Jonah on dry land
Where Jonah did rejoice.
 
Unless you really want to go
To where the comfort level's low,
It is important that you know
That you should obey God.

 
© 1998